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  1. #1
    TheParser is online now VIP Member
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    Default PLEASE diagram "that"

    "Tom did the best that he could."

    (1) Would you please Reed-Kellogg that sentence?

    (2) In that particular sentence, what part of speech is "that"?

    Thank you VERY much.

  2. #2
    chester_100's Avatar
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    Default Re: PLEASE diagram "that"

    Did is a transitive verb whose direct object is the best. So that refers to a noun phrase, and should be an adjective. In such sentences, that canít be defined lexically; but functionally, it shows a type of something.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: PLEASE diagram "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    "Tom did the best that he could."

    (1) Would you please Reed-Kellogg that sentence?

    (2) In that particular sentence, what part of speech is "that"?
    (1) What's Reed-Kellogg???

    (2) Chester_100 is correct that the best is the direct object of did. However, that does have a lexical definition: it's a relative pronoun. In this case, it's a relative pronoun introducing an adjective clause; the adjective clause that he could modifies the object (noun phrase) the best.

  4. #4
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: PLEASE diagram "that"


  5. #5
    chester_100's Avatar
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    Default Re: PLEASE diagram "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by mayita1usa View Post
    (1) What's Reed-Kellogg???

    (2) Chester_100 is correct that the best is the direct object of did. However, that does have a lexical definition: it's a relative pronoun. In this case, it's a relative pronoun introducing an adjective clause; the adjective clause that he could modifies the object (noun phrase) the best.
    Yes, but it's a functional morpheme. such morphemes cannot be defined as lexical elements. For example, we can define car, book, love, thirst, and other lexical morphemes, but there is no way to define functional ones (to give a classical definition of the word). Instead, we need to describe their fuction(s) as you have done it.
    By the way, functions of that are partially different from those of relative pronouns. And, that usage is categorized as an adjective in some dictionaries.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: PLEASE diagram "that"

    Dear Chester, Frank, and Mayita (alphabetical order!!!),

    Wow! I did not expect so many great replies.

    I shall study your answers very carefully. You three have taught me a lot.

    The status of "that" in such a sentence is really confusing to ordinary people like me.

    Mayita, you should consider Reed-Kellogg. An example is the diagram that Frank was kind enough to draw for me. It gives me a "picture" of the sentence. Frank is an expert in this matter.

    Thanks again SO much. It's 2 a. m. now, and you all have really given me an intellectual feast of a breakfast.

  7. #7
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: PLEASE diagram "that"

    Thanks, Parser.

    The word "that" can be one of four sentence parts -- a function word, a relative pronoun, a demonstrative adjective, or a demonstrative pronoun.

    In a sentence like You have all four in the same order as above.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: PLEASE diagram "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    Thanks, Parser.

    The word "that" can be one of four sentence parts -- a function word, a relative pronoun, a demonstrative adjective, or a demonstrative pronoun.

    In a sentence like You have all four in the same order as above.

    Thanks for the GREAT expanded answer regarding "that."

    Viva Reed-Kellogg!

  9. #9
    mayita1usa's Avatar
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    Default Re: PLEASE diagram "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by chester_100 View Post
    Yes, but it's a functional morpheme. such morphemes cannot be defined as lexical elements.
    Holy moly! (Or, Oh my gatos!, as my students might say.) It's been a VERY long time since I took my linguistics courses, but even then I don't know if I ever learned this distinction. (I also vaguely remember those sentence diagrams, but I never knew them by the name Reed-Kellogg; I remember thinking they were pretty fun though. What a geek...)

    As has TheParser, I've learned a lot from this thread! Thanks!

  10. #10
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: PLEASE diagram "that"

    YES! They were, and are, fun!

    Frank

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